dfp_header_hidden_string

Wild Life FM review at Unicorn Theatre, London – ‘Kim Noble for kids’

Megan Blair, Mikey Arhin Acquaah and Justin Campbell in Wild Life FM at Unicorn Theatre, London. Photo: Hannah Ellison Megan Blair, Mikey Arhin Acquaah and Justin Campbell in Wild Life FM at Unicorn Theatre, London. Photo: Hannah Ellison
by -

Kim Noble for kids. It doesn’t sound like a recipe for success. In fact it sounds like something that would give most parents palpitations. The award-winning performance artist and comedian isn’t known for his child-friendly shows. He’s known for projecting videos of his own ejaculating penis, discussing his suicidal thoughts, and recording the sound of his neighbours having sex.

But what he’s achieved with Wild Life FM, together with Belgian co-devisor Pol Heyvaert and a host of uber-talented young musicians, is quite remarkable. Over 50 minutes, on a stage strewn with laptops, microphones and beanbag chairs, Noble and Heyvaert have created an oasis of simple, sublime expression.

There seems little reason to Wild Life FM, but there’s plenty of rhyme and rhythm. As gig-theatre, it’s more gig than theatre: a succession of musicians performing their own stuff, against a big-screen backdrop of animations, cartoons, GIFs and screen-grabs. It’s all broadcast live online, too.

There’s Megan Blair and her heart-breaking voice – close your eyes and it could be London Grammar. There’s Justin Campbell and his Barry White bass. There’s Mikey Arhin-Acquaah and his incessant pestering of the audience. I wish I was that cool at 17.

Wild Life FM emerges as a jumbled tapestry of teenage life, a jigsaw of hopes, dreams, experiences and insecurities. Just nine young adults, playing around on stage with music, sound, video, exploring the limits of the stage. There’s something so encouraging – and so pure – in that.

 

Verdict
Eclectic, messy, invigorating gig-theatre co-devised with a cast of talented young musicians
^